Perzines are funny. A much maligned medium, they can, without a shadow of a doubt, be really,really fist bitingly terrible. They can also be mind blowing, moving and life changing.
This has been a month of looking back as everything in my life changes :’Remember who you are’. The internet is making me question why I write in a way I never have before.
I’ve been thinking about secrets and me. The telling of secrets and the audiences I hand them over to.
The paperzine Footsteps in the Dark had the tagline (I didn’t know what a f’ing tagline was then, but there you go, my fate was written in the stars) ‘Whispered secrets from the girl next door’. It was written because there were things in my life I needed to say, needed to write, but couldn’t. It was essentially anonymous. I distroed them, and posted them into the ether. Most people who knew me didn’t get them, because the writing was too personal and scary. I could tell strangers but not the people in my life I knew best, or loved the most. This is perhaps peculiar.
And now I’m back here again, having these debates. Because the audience for this is getting bigger and more people here *know* who I am, in real life, people I work with and people I don’t really know that well and don’t know if I trust- can find out some of the most personal, intimate things about me. This is starting to make me uneasy. Because sometimes I don’t always want to be this person, sometimes I just want to be the girl you bump into buying a coffee, sometimes I just want to talk about that great book you just read, something simple, without any reference to the messy, complicated, sometimes painful, sometimes beautiful, rest. Sometimes I want to escape it.
Some of the things I want to write about are still hard\ This whole opening myself up is deeply contrary to my instincts.
Well it is and it isn’t. As far as I’m concerned secrets are things you can (and must) tell to strangers. They always have been. And *why* do we (per-zine writers) tell them? Because untold secrets of love and pain and abuse and death and sadness and sex and fear send good people walking into the path of oncoming trains. And that is no good at all.
I do it because I am a per-zine writer. And this is how we roll.